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Coalition of local bars to honor legal community veterans

Senior Editor News in Photos

'I’m excited about this program, and I’m excited to see every circuit excited about recognizing their vets'

The Florida Patriot FlyerA year ago, Broward County Bar Association Executive Director Braulio Rosa was struck with the notion that Florida lawyers and judges don’t receive enough recognition for the years they spent honorably serving their country in the armed forces.

“When you think about it, it’s a small amount of people that actually defend our freedom,” he said. “It’s a cliché, but it’s true.”

That perceived oversight will be remedied November 8, from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. in a virtual ceremony, “The Florida Patriot: Honoring Legal Leader Veterans Service to Country and Community.”

The inaugural recipients, a lawyer and eight judges, have been selected by colleagues who hail from the legal communities they serve in the First, Fourth, Sixth, Ninth, 11th, 12th, 13th, 15th, and 17th circuits.

The recipients are, respectively, Judge Gary L. Bergosh, Judge Moses Floyd, Judge Steven D. Berlin, Judge Jerry L. Brewer, Judge Daryl E. Trawick, Judge Lee E. Haworth, attorney Matthew F. Hall, Judge Luis Delgado, Jr., and Judge Edward H. Merrigan.

Florida Bar President Michael Tanner is scheduled to deliver remarks, Rosa said. The keynote speaker will be Maria Chapa Lopez, the former U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Florida.

In addition to the Broward County Bar Association, other sponsors are the Cuban American Bar Association, the St. Petersburg Bar Association, the Escambia-Santa Rosa Bar Association, the Orange County Bar Association, the Hillsborough County Bar Association, the Palm Beach County Bar Association, the Sarasota County Bar Association, the North Dade Bar Association, and the Jacksonville Bar Association.

All voluntary bar associations likely feel the same way the Broward County Bar Association feels about Judge Merrigan, Rosa said.

Active in the U.S. Army Reserves, when he is not on the bench, Brig. Gen. Merrigan is deputy commanding general of 84th Training Command.

“As soon as I came up with this, I said, OK guys, what do you think, Judge Merrigan? And everybody said yes,” Rosa said. “He started our veteran’s court, he’s active in the Army Reserves and he is a one-star general.”

Rosa is no stranger to military service. A former petty officer and linguist, Rosa spent four years in the Navy in the 1980s, a stint that included training at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California.

“I’m excited about this program, and I’m excited to see every circuit excited about recognizing their vets,” he said. “I hope we have virtual packed house, with everyone looking on to cheer their vet.”

For more information to register, click here.

 

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